the veiled sibyl

I have heard and said more inanities, since you took me in tow, than in all the rest of my life.

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Friday, March 18, 2005


(*Edited 3/18/05 6:59 pm - something bizarre happened to the formatting.)

JT (my undergraduate helper monkey ape) is always trying to impress me with his "extensive vocabulary". Trouble is, his vocabulary is about as extensive as Violet's. As you can imagine, this can be quite amusing.

On his first day, he saw the Jack Trophy with the little flags that say, "Fortuitousness", "Perspicacity" and "Sagacity". He kept asking me what the words meant and I explained them, but it was obvious that he was terribly perplexed. He went to NRA and asked her to define them, which she did, but it was to no avail - JT just could not put it together. I eventually read the definitions from Merriam Webster to him. Still there was no enlightenment. About three hours later, he pops out with, "What kind of person uses words like those?" I said "An intelligent one?" He replied, "But, they don't even mean anything." (Umm, o-kay.) Little did I realize what the future held, because I guess that got his wordsmith juices flowing. Now he's always coming up to me and saying stuff like, I bet you don't know what "x" means. He hasn't stumped me yet, and I can tell that it bothers him. (Seriously dude - look at who I live with and who I email all the time. Do you really think you can compete with the Grand Vocab Triumverate of DxB, Okashii, and LEP?)

What makes it a source of constant hilarity is his complete and utter ignorance of the pronunciation, not to mention the definition of words. It's like listening to Mike Tyson. Some examples from conversations this week:

"It's amazing how our knowledge of science has invaginated our lives."
(Invaginated? As you can probably imagine, that was a conversation stopper.)

JT: Acolyte? Wait. I know what that means. It's someone with wisdom, right? A wise person.
S: Uh, no. An acolyte is an assistant or follower. An assistant to a clergyman.
JT: Well, that would be a wise person.
S: How do you figure?
JT: Well, a clergyman wouldn't have someone stupid as an assistant.
S: How do you know?
JT: (loudly) HA HA HA! Why would anybody have someone stupid helping them?
S: (rolls eyes at the irony of the last statement)
JT: So see, it means wise.
(Ya just can't argue with that logic!)

"There's such an obstrusiveness of that protein that's making it impossible to figure out."
(I don't have a fucking clue. . .)

S: I always gave succinct answers. . .
JT: Suh. . . You mean SUCK-si-nicked.
S: No. I mean sek-sinct
JT: You're not saying that right.
S: Yes I am.
JT: What does that mean?
S: Concise, precise.
JT: Are you sure? How do you spell it?
S: S-U-C-C-I-N-C-T
JT: (writes word) SUCK-si-nicked. I know what that means. It means "timely".
S: Mmm, no.
JT: Hm. I'll have to look that up.
S: You do that.
(I have a lot of patience.)

His writing is not much better. Here's some examples that illustrate his fondness for ten-dollar words:

"Modern technological advances have certainly ameliorated research, but finding a vertebrate that will undergo spontaneous and induced tumorigenesis is of interest to many scientists."

"Xiphophorus hybrids have also been implemented in studies where a variety of inflictions have been verified."

RW's going to have a field day with this one.


You've probably seen this before, but it's pretty cool:

I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid. Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer inwaht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh? yaeh and I awlyas thought slpeling was ipmorantt.


Keeping with the "words' theme, here's a fun little CGI script that converts English text to a variety of silly dialects:

Here's a sample of TVS dialectized to Redneck:

So how does yo' like th' noo design? Purdy freakin' GREEN, ain't it? Yeah, ah thunk I'd sprooce thin's up a bit fo' sprin'time. Th' black was gittin' a li'l oppressive. Th' weather's finally cleared up hyar, an' ah have an impressive list of shit ah hope t'git done aroun' th' house this hyar weekend, cuss it all t' tarnation. Ah's a-gonna try an' install some po'ch railin's t'keep mah flower-smashin' houn'dogs fum gittin' in th' flower beds. Then ah have t'git a pile of dirt an' fill in all th' Cookie an' Henriettabelle-shaped pits, an' replant th' stuff they destroyed, cuss it all t' tarnation. An exercise in futility, yo' say? Pshaw! Fry mah hide! ah reckon ah's a-gonna try an' pressure warsh th' lan'scape stones as fine. They're supposed t'be white but they're so't of - black. Shet mah mouth! An' fuzzy. Of course thar's th' requisite mowin' an' fire ant annihilashun thet will be a feature of ev'ry Sunday fum hyar on until November. . . Thar's also a jungle on th' side of mah house thet th' previous owny called "lan'scapin'". ah have t'cut all thet shit back an' away fum th' house. (Who plants shrubs thet grow t'15 feet UNDERNEATH THE EAVES OF THE HOUSE???) Th' co'ner beds in th' backyard need t'be finished - thass a projeck fum hell - one of mah famous, "Ooh, won't it look purdy eff'n I. . ." Check back Monday t'see how much ah git done.

(Personal fave? "Bath and Body Works" becomes "Bath an' Hide Wawks"!)


And in closing, I leave you with this: Semenyms


Yours in perpetuum and without equivocation,


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